The results of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual report on the world’s expensive cities are in, and Singapore has been crowned with the title for the third year in a row.
While you wouldn’t doubt a research organisation called the Economist Intelligence Unit, it is helpful to know that the index is calculated by comparing the price of a weighted basket of goods across 133 cities.
The basket includes food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, rent, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational costs to build up an idea of how much it costs to live in a place.
Singapore came out on top again, but its lead over Hong Kong and Zurich is shrinking. Hong Kong climbed seven places up the ranking in the last 12 months. Meanwhile London, New York and Los Angeles have moved up the ranking to 6th, 7th and 8th place, respectively, pushing Sydney, Melbourne and Oslo out of the top ten.
Prices for consumers are falling in US cities because of inflation. But the strong US dollar means that compared to other cities in the world with weaker currencies, New York is more expensive.
It is now in its highest global position since 2002 and has risen 42 places on the ranking since 2011. At the other end of the stick, European cities have slipped down the ranking as the euro has weakened.
While Singapore isn’t the most expensive place to buy groceries, it is the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car. Transport costs in Singapore are 2.7 times higher than in New York. It is also very expensive to buy clothes and pay for utilities bills in Singapore.